Wednesday Haslett Press Conference

Wednesday Haslett Press Conference

St. Louis Rams Head Coach Jim Haslett talked Wednesday about activating Derek Stanley from the practice squad, on the status of Fakhir Brown re-signing with the Rams, on what happened with Eddie Kennison, and about preparing for Washington.

Head Coach Jim Haslett
October 8, 2008

(Opening remarks)
"I will give you the injury update first. These guys did not participate in practice; (WR) Drew Bennett, (WR) Dane Looker, (CB) Tye Hill, (RB) Antonio Pittman, and (WR) Keenan Burton. I think (WR) Keenan (Burton) should be ready to play next week. (WR) Drew (Bennett), I am hoping in a couple weeks. (WR) Dane (Looker) is going to be out this week. He has some symptoms with his concussion so we are just going to hold him for a week and (RB) (Antonio) Pittman, I am hoping he will be ready to go. (LB) Will Witherspoon practiced, (WR) Dante Hall did everything, and (RB) Steven (Jackson) did everything."

(On activating WR Derek Stanley from the practice squad)
"You can go into a game with four receivers; Buffalo played us with two tight ends, two backs and four receivers. That is all they had, so you could do it. I would like to get (WR) Derek (Stanley) up if we can find a spot, but he is working like he is going to be playing."

(On the status of CB Fahkir Brown re-signing with the St. Louis Rams)
"He had a snag, I really don't understand it so you probably want to ask (President, Football Operations/General Manager) Jay (Zygmunt) when he comes back tomorrow or ask (Executive Vice President/Players Personnel) Billy (Devaney). It is something that has to do with the players' association and (CB) Fahkir (Brown). I really don't understand the whole thing. I know that other teams are interested. Hopefully we can work something out but I am really not sure to be honest with you."

(On why he was released by the St. Louis Rams)
"That was a decision that was made. It was not my decision but obviously I lived with it. I think that if we could get him back, that is the most important thing because I would like to have five corners. Right now we are going to go into the game with four. (CB) Ricky Manning (Jr.) will be in the nickel, (CB) Jason Craft and (CB) Ron (Bartell) will play the corner spots and (CB) Jon (Jonathan Wade) will be the fourth."

(On how CB Ricky Manning Jr. and CB Jason Craft have played so far)
"I thought they both played well. (CB) Jason (Craft) gave up the deep ball on the double move but Jason is a guy I had in New Orleans. He is very experienced, he knows the system, he has good speed, and he has a great understanding of the game. What Ricky brings to the table is that he is tough. He is a hard-nosed guy. He had a sack in the other game, he has a good feel for football, and he tackles well. I don't know what happened in Chicago, I really don't understand, there are a million reasons why guys get let go but he brings some good qualities to the table."

(On what happened with releasing and re-signing WR Eddie Kennison)
"That was a strange one; that was an unfortunate thing. We were going to let Eddie go to bring (WR) Derek (Stanley) up under the assumption that (WR) Dane (Looker) was okay. And not a half hour after we did, I caught a call from the doctor saying he would like to hold Dane and just do a couple more tests on him this week and I said what's the situation with him playing? (The doctor said) "Well, I'm not really sure, maybe, maybe not and so we waited for a second and then we called the league office to see if we could get a recall on the transaction and it was too late. So, it was like (released) and then 14 minutes later we re-signed him. So the important thing is it was the decision that we made, but we didn't get any information on Dane until after the decision was made."

(On if he was surprised that the doctors wanted to keep WR Dane Looker out for further testing)
"Yeah, we were surprised. First of all, I thought maybe hold him out a day or whatever, but they said they would like to sit him out the whole week just to make sure he's okay and they're going to do a couple more tests on him."

(On what he sees from the Redskins QB Jason Campbell)
"It's the same thing he did in college. One, I think he's very poised, nothing really rattles him. I went down and worked him out at one point and he's got a big time arm. In fact, he can throw 80 or 90 yards in the air, but the thing I like about him is that nothing really rattles the kid. You can blitz him, you can play coverage, you can show him different looks and he's got that laid back, nothing really bothers him attitude, which is kind of nice as a quarterback. He's doing a nice job of stepping up in the pocket. Obviously, he's making good decision with the ball because he doesn't have any interceptions and they're doing a nice job in the running game. So, he's a perfect compliment for what they're doing right now."

(On why he thinks Washington's offense is having success)
"When you have pretty good players that helps. They have two really good running backs, an experienced offensive line, skilled receivers, a very good tight end and a quarterback that kind of compliments everything. It's the same offense as we played when we were in Seattle with some different wrinkles, but basically the same type of offense."

(On if he thinks Washington RB Clinton Portis is one of the most complete running backs in the league)
"You know what, you don't know how big he is; he's 240 (lbs.) the way he runs. He's 205 (lbs.), he runs hard, he finishes plays, probably one of the best blockers in the league, tries to hurt people on chip blocks, catches the ball, he does a little bit of everything. He's a heck of back. And (RB) Ladell Betts is another guy. (He) runs hard, he can catch the ball, he's a heck of a blocker, so they've got a good one, two, and actually (RB) (Rock) Cartwright is a good football player, they've really got three good running backs."

(On how much more difficult guys like TE Chris Cooley make it as far as game planning goes)
"Chris is a guy that actually when I was in New Orleans we traded with them to get him. They wanted to get him and we were going to take him and they decided to trade him to them. We liked him because he's a good receiver, he can get down the field, runs good routes, tough enough block, does a lot, can play anywhere. In college he played receiver, he was a fullback; he kind of played in four or five different spots and does the same thing with them. They have a lot of weapons on offense and they utilize them pretty well."

(On what this week has been like as head coach as far as game planning)
"Yesterday you mean. We really game planned yesterday."

(On if he did game planning on Monday)
"Not that much. We watched more film and I did other things Monday. Actually, (on Tuesday) I sat with the defense for maybe the first half of the day and then I sat with the offense and the running game and then I went back to the defense and then I went with the special teams for probably about an hour yesterday and kind of went back to the offense, so I bounced back and forth yesterday."

(On if he is picking up the verbage of the offense)
"No, I can't call plays. I can't even get it out of my mouth. Zip right, zoom, nine, 22, no, can't do it."

(On if there's any excitement in being a head coach again or if it's like riding a bike)
"At least when I get on a bike I know where the pedals are and can get going. There's some things you forget. Like today somebody said, "Where are we practicing at?" (I said), "I think outside." You think about the field conditions and just think like that, but it's all coming back pretty fast."

(On how the players are taking to the running/conditioning at the end of practice or if there are complaints)
"Players, complain about running? Come on, that's what they do. We ran them pretty good last week and before they left we gave them I want to say 12 100-yard dashes. It will benefit them in the long run and we'll be smart; we're not going to do every day. I think enough to keep their conditioning up. I think once we get into it we have to be careful with the receivers and defensive backs because they run all day and on special teams. But I think guys like the offensive and defensive line, the quarterback, guys that don't get a lot of running in they probably need to do it throughout the whole year."

(On if he thinks Washington is one of the most complete teams in the NFL at this point in the season)
"I would say one of the better offenses we've played, other than Philadelphia, the Giants, the whole East is good, I've already watched Dallas. To me, I think they're the elite team in the league for myself, right now. Philadelphia, Giants, the Redskins, you can lump them all together, that's four very good teams. The Redskins have good defense, they've got great special teams, great speed and the veterans are right on it. That's a heck of a battle. Whoever wins that division will have a chance to win it all, that's a great division."

(On what he sees on the defensive side of the ball for Washington)
"Great corners, the safeties can go get it, the young kid is a good football player, (S) (LaRon) Landry's, you know, I saw him play in high school at Hardinville High School, he's a heck of a football player, linebackers that can run; it's just a complete football team. (DE) Andre Carter's a good player, their inside guys, (DT) (Kedric) Golston and those guys can go get it, so this is a great challenge for us. I know that we're big time underdogs with point numbers, so we've got nothing to lose, so we'll go out and just play and have some fun and see what happens."

(On if he is content with keeping WR Dante Hall on punt returns)
"Yeah, right now. I think the guy has special qualities. I'd like to see him have an opportunity to get one. This group will be hard to get one on because they're really good at coverages, but Dante has that quality that if he gets through he'll be hard to contain."

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